As I understand it, on Saturday only six of the nine hotels in Gorki Park were finished. Olympic guests were being given rooms without running water. Or no rooms at all.

Local caterer Maxine Turner, owner of Cuisine Unlimited, who has catered USA House at several Olympics, made a trip to Sochi last year to consider a bid for doing the USA House there. She declined and told me, "I never want to go back." And this is a hospitality expert.

Plus now, they're killing all the dogs. 

Anyway, I'm not feeling too sorry about not having a ticket to this year's Winter Olympics. Even though a number of Utahns are competing. (See the current issue of Salt Lake magazine.)

There's a better option up the hill. 

This Sunday, February 9, from 5:30–8:30 p.m., at (the fully finished and fully operational) St. Regis Deer Valley, 

three-time Winter Olympian (and pink-haired!) Ms. Shannon Bahrke


will provide live, insidery commentary during Sochi events–Ladies Speed Skating, Men’s Downhill, Men’s Ski Jumping and Ladies’ Snowboard–televised on big screens while Chef de Cuisine Shane Baird

presents a five course Russian-themed dinner.

St. Regis is the training ground for many members of the U.S. Winter Olympic team, including local resident Ted Ligety, a gold medal hopeful in men’s downhill – an event to be aired on Sunday. Bahrke, a Silver and Bronze medalist in moguls, will be hosting the event against the backdrop of "Champion," the very run on which she won a Silver medal in the 2002 Salt Lake Games.

And here's Chef Shane's menu:

Warm Beet Borscht, Vodka Crème Fraiche, Dill

Nicoise Salad, Seared Ahi Tuna, Black Olive Emulsion

Cornish Game Hen Kiev, Herbal Spinach, Lemon Glaze

Seared Wagyu Bavette Steak, Spatzle Stroganoff

Flambéed Crepes, Ricotta Honey Filling, Grand Marnier

I know. Too bad he can't serve Russian caviar. (Beats no running water, though.) And there will be vodka: Remember, the St. Regis Deer Valley (and everywhere) is famous for its Bloody Mary's, because the drink was invented at the original St. Regis in New York. 

Cost is $75 per person. Call J&G Grill at (435) 940-5760 for reservations and reference the Olympic Tasting Event.